Main image courtesy of Visit Pittsburgh.
While home to many high-end stores, boutiques, and eateries, Shadyside also hosts a number of beautiful parks in and around it to get lost within nature. Whether you’re looking to take a walk with a furry friend around the area, take the kids to a park for the afternoon, or go on a romantic stroll with a significant other at dusk, our list of the best parks near Shadyside has got you covered.
A history-loaded park with a wide range of facilities and walking trails
1047 Shady Ave | PittsburghParks-MellonPark.com
Established in 1943, this park offers members of Shadyside multiple recreational facilities and an area to host events. Originally owned by Richard Beatty Mellon, this land was used for the philanthropist’s mansion but was eventually torn down and created into the park that the Shadyside community knows and loves.
Most famously, Mellon Park contains its recently completed Walled Garden, which was constructed from part of the remains of the previous owner’s mansion. On the garden’s floor is an art installation led by Janet Zweig in honor of Ann Katharine Seamans, a 19-year old Pittsburgh native who tragically died in a car crash. The installation includes a depiction of the sky in Pittsburgh the day that Ann was born, and patrons can visit this exhibit year round.
Aside from the walled garden, the park annually hosts an event called Fair in the Park, which is a contemporary arts festival with a small concert and an area for children.
Mellon Park’s Tennis Center offers tennis lessons and tennis facilities to players of all ages, with classes specifically geared towards children. Along the tennis courts is Mellon Park’s playground, basketball courts, and baseball fields.
“This is the perfect park for kids, little and big...There are a variety of playground options, as well as a large swingset and plenty of space to run around” -Yelp Review
Mellon Spray Park
A unique and accessible park with a spray area to cool down
6601 Fifth Ave | PittsburghPA-MellonSprayPark.gov
A fan favorite amongst Pittsburgh kids, this spray park hosts a variety of spray attractions to soak up the sun in. The spray park is open from 10am to 8pm and is a short walk down the street from Mellon Park. With a splash pad, sprinkler towers, and toppling buckets of water, this park is great for parents and kids of all ages.
The spray park is completely wheelchair accessible, and the Dan Cohen playground next to the spray area contains ramps for all kids to enjoy the amenities. The playground is perfect for park-goers ranging from toddlers to preteens, including interactive features like a large-scale tic-tac-toe board and wobbly bridges. A section of the playground is dedicated to toddlers and young children, with playhouse-like structures and lower level climbing equipment.
For a brief break from the park or as a pleasant spot for a picnic, there is a grassy knoll located across the street from the playground and splash area. There are also pavilions in this area that are open to the public and can be rented out. There are benches for parents to take a break around the playground, as well as bathrooms and parking located near the spray park area.
“The spray park is mostly in the shade, and the water is pretty cold. However, we had fun. We stood in the mist for a long time and played in the fountains a bit...All in all, it was a great and free way to cool off on a 90 degree day.” -Yelp Review
A small park located in a roundabout on Friendship Avenue
4900 Friendship Ave | HistoricPittsburgh-FriendshipPark.gov
Amongst the Victorian houses of Friendship and a short walk from the heart of Shadyside, this park is located directly across from West Penn hospital and is full of greenery to stroll in. Friendship park is located within the roundabout surrounding Friendship Avenue and features benches and walkways to explore.
Only a mile walk from the center of Shadyside, Friendship Park is a perfect place to stop while exploring the Eastern neighborhoods of Pittsburgh.
“This is a cute little roundabout-style parklet in the neighborhood. It's nice to use as a walk-through as well as getting a couple of laps in. Benches and water fountains available. Can often see patients and staff from West Penn Hospital relaxing here as well as others in the area with pets and children. Pick up frisbee throwing, kids on bikes and artists working on paintings. Peaceful spot located in the heart of daily city commotion.” -Yelp Review
Baum Negley Park
A micro park at the intersection of Baum Boulevard and South Negley Avenue
Baum Negley Park is a tiny green area located at the corner of Baum Boulevard and South Negley Avenue, and it contains a short sidewalk that cuts through the grass of the area and connects the sidewalks of each street.
The park contains a Healthy Ride station where bicycles can be picked up and dropped off at. Trees line the little park as well the streets surrounding the park, making for a relaxing spot despite the traffic and city life around the area.
If you’re planning on walking through Baum Negley Park, be sure to admire the old brick houses lining the street on either side of the park. Just down the street from Baum Negley Park is Amber Park, which is another smaller green space that could be a perfect spot for a picnic in the grass.
A triangular patch of land only blocks away from Mellon Park
Beechwood Blvd | Shadyside
While not technically considered a park, this lot of greenery has all of the criteria to make a park -- trees, grass, and areas to relax and explore. This patch of land is located only a few blocks from Mellon Park and Mellon Spray Park, and is the ideal spot to take a break, throw a frisbee with friends, or enjoy a picnic. With its location in a quiet neighborhood, this park is the perfect place to be one with nature and take a break from the busy city.
While Shadyside isn’t necessarily known for having a multitude of parks, the parks it does have make for a great outing. Our list for the top five parks in and around Shadyside are sure to make your next walk, outing with the kids, or picnic an amazing and relaxing time.